Posted without comment.
Update: Alright, just this one comment. The fictional Mr. Thurm comes across as quite a bit more personable and rather more open and transparent than Representative Weiner. Christ on a bike, how is it that psychopathic putz’s like this are entrusted with such responsibility by their constituents. The film Idiocracy seems more and more like a documentary with each passing day.
Since our move from the city eight years ago, I have grown accustomed to the less desperate rhythms of life away from the urban core. The almost manic desire to constantly do something, when doing nothing might provide more satisfaction, is something that I left behind with no regrets as I gained life experience. My wife’s twenty something niece and her boyfriend however are spending the four day weekend with us, and they have expressed no interest whatsoever in learning from our painfully gained experience in the need of a human liver to occasionally take a day or two long break in the interests of casting off toxins ingested. They have made it their mission to reintroduce us to that long left behind “fun” world of drinking heavily until 4:00 AM and then waking at eight to a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s. This has been repeated until by the fourth day, which is today, my Chinese mirror is telling my 53 year old reflection in no uncertain terms to cease and desist immediately.
Two days to go. If I can negotiate some sort of agreement with that mirror to ignore the visibly throbbing vein on my left temple and de-emphasize the swollen liver protruding from under my T-shirt, I should be able to make it without medical intervention.
I’d like you all to conduct a little thought experiment with me regarding a story that is getting some play in the media this weekend. Please follow the link for tawdry details and then return. While I can certainly sympathize with the mail carrier to a certain extent, perhaps he suffers from irritable bowel syndrome or had contracted a case of the stomach flu, or merely consumed an especially greasy burrito from the unlicensed mobile taqueria down the street, it does seem that a more genteel solution could have been found for what must have been an “emergency” situation.
Dispense for a moment with judgements of right and wrong if you will. When forced against his will to choose between the bad and worse decision of dropping a cube in the assumed semi-privacy of a side yard or in his shorts, due consideration must be given when weighing such an emergency against the mail carriers code of “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dead of night” etc. and whether he was nearer to or further from the end of an eight hour shift traveled by foot. Let no man past a certain age who has eaten spicy foods while simultaneously consuming many beers throw the first stone.
Benefit of the doubt so granted, still you must ask yourself. If an employee in the private sector had for any reason whatsoever elected to defecate on any sort of personal property of a customer that was not specifically a toilet, and was caught on tape in the act, and the act was widely publicized due to a slow news Friday or whatever, would said employee have any reasonable expectation of his employer welcoming him with open arms the following Monday? If I may be so bold, I think that the answer to that question is fairly self-evident.
In review. Not only do government employees make more money, work fewer hours, and possess superior benefits than their peers in the private sector, they now have municipally approved, union protected carte blanche to shit on the taxpayer not just figuratively but literally as well. Think about that the next time you’re queuing up at the post office.
H/T to Gerard, who keeps me up to date on the really important stuff.
Finally, some documented workers that can be added to California’s growing ranks of the chronically unemployed. The good news just never seems to stop lately in the once Golden State.
As a kid who spent his first five years in the Pacific Northwest, I knew we had hit the jackpot when at age five my father took a position in California’s thriving aerospace industry and he drug up and moved his new family south to Santa Barbara. My mother, ready to pursue a career of her own after spending half a decade seeing my sister and I to school age took a job as a design draftsman for a successful housing developer in the equally thriving building sector of the economy. She had no experience to speak of, only a couple of years of college, but good paying work was easy to come by in 1960’s California when businesses attracted by good weather and favorable tax rates could barely keep up with demand. We were middle class and lived in a house on the mesa with a view of the ocean. I went to school in a building that looked like an 18th century Spanish mission, and my backyard consisted of thousands of acres of avocado orchards. At the end of the week, home work finished, my buddies and I would ride our bikes down off of the mesa, through old town, and to the beach where we would build bonfires and dance in the white sand of the Pacific shore. It seemed like a dream. Turns out it was.
If government were trying deliberately to destroy what was once the fifth largest economy in the world, they could hardly be more successful. When living there as a kid I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Now when I visit it’s nice for a while, until reality starts to overwhelm memories, and I find myself wishing I were anywhere else. Hasta mañana California. Hasta mañana.
If you’re at work, I’d turn the volume down if I were you. Just a suggestion.
Has anyone else noticed the tendency of Obama lately to adopt a whiny, “How many times do I have to explain this” tone when attempting to walk back some statement or other he has made that is not being interpreted “correctly” by the listener? Typically he’ll make a black or white statement such as, Israel must agree to its 1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations with the Palestinians. When he is then slapped down mercilessly by the Israeli Prime Minister and basically told that his little idea isn’t fit for a freshman introductory class in middle east studies, Obama hits the podium to inform us that we are all obviously just too dense to get what he was trying to say. Because of the nuance. Even if I grant the premise that he is being misunderstood and not backtracking and spinning as is normal for any politician caught with his foot in his mouth, why the over the top petulance in his voice inflection and body language and not a more commanding and confident demeanor as befits the office he holds? The video below shows a man on defense rather than leading. When dealing with foreign leaders who are naturally looking out for their own interests , a little more…chest…might be in order.
Obama takes a lot of heat in certain circles for his scholarly background rather than that of business or executive government, but this kind of behavior is not even indicative of a serious academic. His actions when challenged are those of the insecure graduate student assistant when questioned by a bright undergraduate, and everyone in class can see that he has the instructor cornered. Obfuscate and attempt to make the inquisitor look the fool. Otherwise known as baffling them with bull shit. A common enough phenomenon regarding mid-level bureaucrats and faux intellectuals, but a sad and dangerous spectacle when displayed by the office holder of the most powerful position on the planet.
Years before I moved to the sticks, I lived in a neighborhood where the homes were too close and the strange lives of those in the homes were intertwined in a manner nature never intended. While humans are for the most part social creatures who enjoy the company of others, those neighborhoods where people are packed in close proximity with folks we would ordinarily give wide berth seem to cause a great deal of acting out that can only be described as bizarre at times. That which would normally be considered private, suddenly becomes the topic of casual conversation over the back yard fence. “Hey neighbor! How are the kids?” is met with “I’m fucking their soccer coach”. “How do you like the new car?” is dismissed and answered with “I think my kid may be trans-gender so I sat in the garage for six hours last night wearing a black bustier contemplating sucking the tail pipe.” The strange part is that this sort of thing was usually met with a “Well…ok then. Hope you have a nice day!”
It’s not that people are any less weird out here in the boondocks. Take my word for it, they can be. It’s just that with a little bit of room, that strangeness can percolate of its own accord unseen and I can continue to fool myself into believing that we are all more or less normal.